FreeBSD boot stuck on “trying to mount root from”

When I tried to boot into my new ZFS root, the boot went fine up until it was going to mount the root filesystem.
It just stuck on “trying to mount root from zfs:twotb/root” and then absolutely nothing happend. I left it for 10-15 minutes but nothing, no error message or anything. I tried a zillion things and googled like mad, but I only found one similar problem. That guy didn’t find the root cause though, but claimed he fiddled some with fstab and then it started to work. That did’nt help me.

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I extracted a new installation and that booted fine from the same ZFS pool, so I knew the problem wasn’t with the pool. I then tried replacing the boot-folder and the etc-folder, but the old install still wouldn’t boot.
So I started comparing the differences in files and folders and then it hit me.
I HAD NO DEV FOLDER! Since I excluded that in my rsync. So I created an empty dev-folder in the old root, made it 555 and rebooted. And what do you know, it booted fine after that!

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  • beakt

    Thank you! I just copied a physical FreeBSD server to a VirtualBox using the rsync technique, and I thought “I don’t need to create /dev, that’s a virtual directory created at runtime!”

    Then I saw it get stuck trying to mount ada0p3 rw. I knew the volume was ok since it obviously mounted it ro and read my /etc/fstab.

    So, I googled “freebsd stuck on trying to mount”. Yours was the top result. Read it. Made /dev. Now I’m in business!

    Again, thanks for posting this.

    Jeffrey Fox

  • FreeBSD

    Much thanks! was using the same reasoning as beakt, such a pain.

  • ericx

    [genuflect] I was dumping/restoring the filesystem via nc –> tar in order to dumb down the fs from zfs to good-old (non-RAM starved) ufs. Skipped all the devs and sockets with –exclude statements. After much dismay staring at “trying to mount root,” your post provided the need “DOH!”